Book Review: Eternal Forever by Syl Waters
There’s an intriguing story about how the digital perception of celebrity can be very far removed from reality in this book, but honestly? It’s buried pretty deep because there are just too many point of view characters. I lost count at 10, but I know there were more, and it’s just TOO MANY. Unless you’re writing a GRRM-style multi-book epic with different characters going on epic journeys all over the place, you just cannot pull off more than 3 point of view characters in any novel, and frankly even that many is pushing it.
Realistically, this whole story could have been told from the points of view of Jessie, the rising pop star whose manager’s murder kicks off the action, and Mack, the marketing manager of the internet startup she ends up turning to for help. Eternal Forever is a social media company with a difference, one which makes the promise to curate your online presence once you’re no longer around to do it - after death, in other words. However, the tools their clients give them - passwords and authority to handle their accounts - can be used while still alive, as Mack figures out.
This needed a very firm hand in the editing. Dress designer Roland could have been cut entirely. So could the POV sections of wannabe influencer Katherine and her broke-investor father John. Mack should have been the one who went to Spain on a rescue mission, not his desperate-for-fame employee J-Pop. This story needed a central hero and a heroine (and no, there didn’t need to be a romance between them) and they were there in Mack and Jessie, but the focus was all over the place. I struggled to figure out what was going on, and the twist at the end was pretty much totally wasted because I just wanted the whole thing to be over by then; I had a headache from the muddle.
The best advice I can give this author is this; get a strong content editor to tear your story apart and help you build it back up again. There’s a good story in here, but right now it’s buried under a mess of far too many points of view, head-hopping and irrelevant scenes that didn’t advance the plot. Unfortunately, as it stands, I’m not able to give it more than two stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via Rachel’s Random Resources.